IHSA state basketball Class 4A and 3A tournament predictions

Joe Henricksen makes his picks in the Class 4A and Class 3A state tournament brackets

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Belleville West holds up the Class 4A state championship trophy in Peoria in 2019.

Belleville West holds up the Class 4A state championship trophy in Peoria in 2019.

Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times

Before anyone can dream of playing in Champaign — or even a supersectional — teams must take care of business in sectional play. That comes this week as sectional semifinal games and sectional titles will be played throughout the state.

With regional action in the rear view mirror and just 64 teams remaining in Class 3A and 4A, it’s time to get serious. 

Here are one observer’s picks for all the Class 3A and 4A brackets going forward. 

Class 4A

Sectional Predictions

Proviso West: Young over Riverside-Brookfield; Lyons over Curie

Sectional Champ: Young

Thornwood: Kenwood over Bloom; St. Rita over Homewood-Flossmoor

Sectional Champ: Kenwood

Barrington: Barrington over Fremd; Libertyville over Stevenson

Sectional Champ: Barrington

Glenbrook South: Glenbrook South over Evanston; New Trier over Rolling Meadows

Sectional Champ: New Trier

Collinsville: Collinsville over Quincy; Normal over Moline

Sectional Champ: Normal

Oswego: Oswego East over Neuqua Valley; Bolingbrook over Andrew

Sectional Champ: Oswego East

Bartlett: Glenbard West over Naperville North; Benet over Wheaton South

Sectional Champ: Glenbard West

Huntley: Larkin over Rockford East; DeKalb over Rockford Auburn

Sectional Champ: Larkin

Supersectional Predictions

UIC: Young over Kenwood

Forest View: New Trier over Barrington

ISU: Normal over Oswego East

NIU: Glenbard West over Larkin

State Semifinals: New Trier over Young; Glenbard West over Normal

A final four matchup of Glenbard West and Normal would feature two teams with identical records of 35-1. New Trier surprises and makes its first State Finals trip in 20 years, while Young’s run at its fifth state championship in program history falls just short. 

State Championship Game: Glenbard West over New Trier

The favorite and top-ranked team gets it done over the surprise state finalist. The Hilltoppers wrap up a magical season with a 37-1 record, the most wins for an Illinois state champ since the 1946-47 Paris team finished 40-2. 

Class 3A

Sectional Predictions

Danville: Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin over Champaign Centennial; Decatur MacArthur over Mahomet-Seymour

Sectional Champ: Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin

Highland: Centralia over Chatham-Glenwood; East St. Louis over Marion

Sectional Champ: East St. Louis

King: St. Ignatius over Fenwick; De La Salle over Westinghouse

Sectional Champ: St. Ignatius

North Chicago: Lake Forest over Grayslake Central; St. Patrick over Carmel

Sectional Champ: Lake Forest

Marian Catholic: Hillcrest over Lemont; Thornton over Kankakee

Sectional Champ: Thornton

Hinsdale South: Simeon over Nazareth; Mt. Carmel over Hyde Park

Sectional Champ: Simeon

Crystal Lake South: Burlington Central over Rockford Boylan; St. Francis over Wauconda

Sectional Champ: Burlington Central

Peoria: Metamora over Rochelle; Rock Island over Peoria Manual

Sectional Champ: Rock Island

Supersectional Predictions

Springfield: East St. Louis over Sacred Heart-Griffin 

Hoffman Estates: Lake Forest over St. Ignatius

UIC: Simeon over Thornton

Ottawa: Rock Island over Burlington Central

State Semifinals: East St. Louis over Lake Forest; Simeon over Rock Island

A beautiful blend of geographical representation from the city, suburbs, Quad Cities and southern Illinois converge in Champaign. The best prospects will be juniors: ESL’s Macaleab Rich, Lake Forest’s Asa Thomas and Simeon’s Miles and Wesley Rubin. But a couple of familiar teams advance. 

State Championship: Simeon over East St. Louis

Simeon claims a state record eighth state championship. Coach Robert Smith wins his seventh — and a second title without a Derrick Rose or a Jabari Parker –– with a team no one dreamed could win a state title nine months ago. 

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